Liposuction in Sacramento, CA
We humans collect fat in genetically-determined areas. In women, this tends to be the lower abdomen, upper abdomen, flanks (muffin-top area) and upper thighs. Men store fat in the lower abdomen and flanks (spare tire area). This fat tends to be the “last to go” during weight loss, as it is the stored low-metabolism fat our bodies save for the long, hard winter!
Liposuction is a great tool for reducing these undesirable pockets of fat. Dr. Johnson is a well-experienced liposuction surgeon in Sacramento, California. She can provide liposuction of the body (abdomen, flanks, back, lateral chest, thighs, knees, calves and ankles) and the face (jowls, under the chin/in the neck). The cost of the procedure depends on the time it takes to treat your areas of concern.
Am I a Candidate for Liposuction?
The best candidates for liposuction are those who are at or close to their ideal weight, but have fatty deposits they can’t get rid of. I ask patients to try and get their weight to where the rest of their body looks good, and then we can sculpt the excessive areas into submission, creating pleasing contours.
Unfortunately, liposuction is not a great way to lose weight. Only a few pounds of fat can be extracted at any one time. But it is “spot reduction” in that the fat is only removed from where it is suctioned and not from anywhere else.
See Before and After Photos of Real Liposuction Patient Results
Combining Liposuction with Skin Tightening Procedures
The tricky thing about liposuction is that it is kind of like letting the air out of a balloon. When you reduce the fat, you reduce the volume that is filling the skin. So the skin is looser afterward. The skin does tighten to a degree, but the amount of tightening varies from person to person. Younger patients do better than older patients in the skin-tightening department. If your skin doesn’t tighten enough, you can sometimes end up with shadows or contour irregularities. I have seen many patients who underwent liposuction and either had too much fat removed, or they had skin that was too loose to begin with, and they end up with saggy skin. This happens when the patient visits a liposuction center that only does liposuction, so that’s all they can recommend. If the patient is not a good candidate for liposuction, but has it done anyway, she may end up unhappy and having to spend more money to remove the excess skin. It’s important to be evaluated by a plastic surgeon that performs both liposuction and skin tightening procedures, and who can give you the best and most cost-effective options for your problem areas.
Liposuction can be performed as a stand-alone procedure or in conjunction with body contouring /skin tightening procedures, including:
Tummy tuck: Also known as abdominoplasty, tummy tuck removes loose, excess skin on the abdomen and tightens the remaining skin and tissues for a tighter and toned appearance. If necessary, separated or damaged abdominal muscles are sutured together for a smoother contour. Liposuction can be used to remove fatty deposits and minimize the appearance of a “muffin top.”
Breast lift: Mastopexy raises deflated and saggy breasts to a higher position on the chest wall for a more youthful and perkier appearance. During the procedure, drooping skin is removed and the breast tissue is re-sculpted as needed to create a symmetrical and attractive shape. If needed, liposuction techniques are used to remove excess fat. The areolas can also be reduced in size and repositioned higher on the breast mound.
Breast reduction: Breast reduction removes skin, tissue and fat to reduce breast volume and size. This reduces physical and emotional discomfort caused by overly large, heavy breasts. Often, the lateral chest is suctioned of excess fat to improve the lateral breast contour.
Facelift: The gold standard in facial rejuvenation, facelift simultaneously corrects various signs of aging in the middle and lower facial areas. Excess skin is removed and the underlying facial tissues and muscles are lifted for a more youthful and smoother appearance. Liposuction techniques can be used to remove pockets of excess fat, such as in the jowl area or beneath the chin.
Another word to the wise: traditional liposuction is still the best, most reliable treatment for problem fat. Fancy liposuction names such as “smart” or “ultrasonic” are not better, just more expensive, because you also have to pay for the use of the fancy machine. The manufacturers of these machines will sell them to any doctor, so you need to carefully evaluate the credentials of the doctor offering to perform liposuction on you. Make sure the doctor is a board-certified plastic surgeon. Otherwise, you may end up with a doctor who is not even a surgeon, and who learned how to do this procedure by taking a weekend course!
Liposuction of small areas can be done simply with local anesthesia. Larger areas are difficult to adequately numb, and so we provide sedation or general anesthesia to ensure your comfort. There are centers that will suction large areas using only local anesthesia, but it can be very uncomfortable! I prefer my patients to be as comfortable as possible, so that I can do the very best job for them. Sedation, or even a short general anesthetic, is very safe, and makes the whole procedure so much easier on both you and your surgeon.
After liposuction, you are placed into a “pressure garment” which is tight underwear that helps keep down the bruising and swelling. You normally wear this garment for 3-4 weeks, just removing it to shower for the first two weeks, and then taking it off at bedtime for the second two weeks. Swelling actually takes 6-8 weeks to disappear completely, and then it’s another 6-8 weeks for the skin to snug up as much as possible. One month after liposuction, most patients look pretty good, but they will look better after month two, and a little better yet after month three. Usually by the end of month four, the healing is completed. You need to avoid vigorous physical activity for the first two weeks, but then you can return to the gym and work your way back to your normal routine of exercise. By about two months after surgery, your weight should be what it was on the day of surgery, minus the amount of fat removed during liposuction, and that should be the weight you maintain from then on. If you unfortunately gain weight after liposuction, it can cause fat to appear in different locations such as the breasts, back, or arms, which can make you look a little bulky.
My best advice is to work on getting your weight as close to ideal as possible, through diet and exercise. If, after that, you have stubborn pockets of fat you can’t get rid of, come see me to find out if liposuction might be a good solution for you.
How to Make Your Liposuction Results Last Long Term
One of the most common questions I hear from patients is, “Are the results from liposuction permanent?” The answer is yes. However, this does not mean that weight gain after liposuction is not possible. Liposuction permanently removes fat cells in the targeted area(s). Once these fat cells are removed, they cannot return and create “problem areas.” Any weight gain after liposuction will be more evenly distributed on the body. For this reason, patients are advised to practice good, healthy lifestyle habits to maintain their slimmer and more sculpted physique for years to come. This includes keeping a stable weight by eating healthy, maintaining good hydration, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco and following the surgeon’s post-operative instructions.
For more information about liposuction and whether it can help you achieve a slimmer and more sculpted physique, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Johnson. Contact our Sacramento office by calling (916) 929-1833 or emailing us today.